Usually, your first taste of an executive role is within a company that knows you. You’ve been promoted within over several years and never had trouble landing the promotion. Lately, you’ve been thinking about making an external move.
You might have the reputation, skills, and experience to qualify for an executive level job, but first, you need to get past the executive job interview.
If you’re already an executive, you’d think it would be easy. But, the people I work with don’t find that. These are the three most common mistakes people make.
YOU TALK BIG VISION BUT SKIM OVER THE DETAILS.
When you’re in a senior leadership role, you become the “vision person”.
You share the vision with employees at staff meetings, with the board during strategic meetings, and with the press.
Sometimes execs get so great at the vision, they forget to talk about how they get things done.
Which is fine when you are in that CEO role, but when you’re trying to land another role, you need to talk about your work in specifics, instead of generalities.
2. YOU ASK THE SAME QUESTIONS A NEW GRAD WOULD ASK
I know you’re busy. And, you’re used to showing up at work and asking smart questions. Sometimes you get prepped in advance, or someone advises you what to ask.
I see executives googling “the best questions to ask at a job interview”, using the first result that comes up and going into the interview with those questions.
DON’T BE THAT PERSON.
Ask questions as if you already have the job. What do you need to know as a VP? Ask strategic questions.
3. YOU DROP NAMES INSTEAD OF FACTS
It’s likely your reputation helped you to land the interview.
But when you are there, spend more time letting them know what you can do, instead of who you know.
Your network is a value-add, but if you use other people’s prestige to bolster yourself up, they don’t know what’s awesome about you.
Share stories to help them see what you can make happen, and if you drop a name in there to help, that’s okay. Your work is more important than who you know.
An executive-level interview requires attention and strategy.
I help people with their interviews in two ways.
- Interview Prep Pack.
I created a short course on how to know what questions they’ll ask at the executive interview and how to answer those questions. This course comes with additional training for your friend or partner to assess your interview skills.
Get it here: Nail The Interview – Prep Pack
2. One-to-one coaching.
I work individually with you to assess your current interview skills, help you to see where you could improve and do a mock interview before the real interview. I can let you know:
- the impression you are making
- what impression your body language is giving off
- how to strengthen your answers to be impactful and memorable
- a system for knowing what example to give when
- tips on unconscious tics you might have like your tone or phrases that you say, that undermine your credibility
I’m a great combination of drama teacher + HR, so I can assess and help you with your body language and storytelling and make sure you are hitting all the points the hiring manager needs to hear.
Send me a message at kerri(at)career-stories.com to talk about interview prep.
Executive interview coaching starts at $750 USD.